By Abi Mandelbaum, CEO and co-founder of YouVisit
There’s no denying that social media plays a major role in the way the hospitality industry connects with today’s travellers. We’re not just talking about Millennials either — hotels know that savvy business travellers and meeting professionals are on social networks and take them seriously as well.
Here are three examples from around the world of hotels successfully engaging their guests through social media.
1888 Hotel: Australia
Last December, Instagram reported that it had more than 300 million users. The founders of the 1888 Hotel in Australia recognised this opportunity and made the decision to make its guests’ Instagram use a key component of their stay at the hotel. The hotel features screens in its lobby that display Instagram images their guests have uploaded to the platform. The hotel also advertises a designated selfie area, and what it calls ‘Insta-Walks’ — maps that provide guests with directions to nearby sites worthy of snapping some breathtaking photos. Visitors with over 10,000 followers, or who take a great Instagram shot of the hotel, can also win a free night’s stay.
Sol Wave House Hotel: Spain
The Sol Wave House Hotel in Majorca, Spain, calls itself the world’s first Twitter hotel. The property makes brilliant use of one of Twitter’s main components, hashtags. Using a dedicated hashtag, guests can tweet members of the hotel’s concierge staff, and request room service, or pool-side drinks. This hotel takes its Twitter presence one step further on the weekends, by hosting ‘Twitter Pool Parties’ every Friday night, and advertises the festivities using the hashtag #TwitterPoolParty. Guests at the Sol Wave House Hotel can even order taxis via Twitter by sending a tweet using the hashtag #WaveTaxi.
Ritz-Carlton is a luxury hotel brand that is well respected within the hotel industry, and also has a reputation for catering to more affluent travelers. The desire to connect with one’s peers, however, is one that transcends socio-economic status. The Ritz-Carlton has identified this desire and has taken a crucial step in making it easier for their guests to connect with one another. By incorporating a social media aspect into their existing native app, the Ritz-Carlton brand is setting a new standard for hotel apps. Using the app, guests can access the Sharable Experiences feature. With this feature, guests have the ability to transform their travel photos into vintage-inspired posters using digital stamps, titles, and filters that are unique to a particular property and geographic location. Guests are encouraged to share their modified images on their social media channels.
Social media has dramatically revolutionized the way people communicate with one another, and can dramatically revolutionise how planners can communicate with clients. For hotels who haven’t embraced social media, it’s important to remember that it is a valuable marketing tool – one they should adopt sooner rather than later, or risk falling behind to competitors.